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Abel to Yzerman

Suarez, Sucking Stars and Our Crazy Uncle Mike

I made a vague reference the other night to a new nemesis of mine, Dr. Lalo Suarez.  This morning we reveal his identity.  It’s exciting.  And…what the Hell is Mike Babcock doing?

All that and more….now.

In a very short period of time, I turn 40.  I’m not gonna lie, it’s getting to me a bit.  In anticipation of this milestone, I’ve done two things.  Set aside the Copenhagen. Done.  Easy. Two weeks ago yesterday and not looking back.  The other?  I’ve become a frigging jogging fiend. 

Does that mean I’ve given up the cheap, warm American beer…or even the blocks of cheddar?  No and no.  But I do enjoy it and here’s why.  I bought one of those Nike wristband track your runs and compete against the world things.  Amazing.  There are challenges in there.  People who think they’re better than you can issue an edict, or even a decree, and tell you they can run faster and further.  Then, you go out, run 8, kick their asses, load your run and brag.  Knock them down several pegs.  Oh, to the 57 year old woman in Oregon?  Told you bitch.  I told you.

So, and stay with me because this will be important later on, there’s this dude.  I enter challenges on this Nike website, challenges like “Navy runners” and “Virginia runners” and “runners who are Irish, Navy Chiefs, Red Wing fans and hail from mid-Michigan”.  Obviously, people who fit each description join each challenge.  I’m in about twenty of them.

And some MF’er named Dr. Lalo Suarez joins every challenge I do.  Seriously. He’s stalking me.  Then when I take the lead? He runs a mile more.  Dr. Lalo Suarez from Mexico is beating me in the “Michigander Challenge”, and also the “Fort Belvoir Challenge” and also the “Chief Petty Officer Birthday Challenge”.  I’m laying down the law right now Suarez.  I’m coming after you.  Turning the tables.  It’s going to be an all-out assault on your character and your stamina.  “Dr.”, eh?  We’ll see.

What does Suarez have to do with our Wings? Obviously nothing.  Are you still reading? Seriously?  Excellent.

Here.  This will keep you interested for a few minutes.  Razor listed “Ten ways to get drilled by the Cup Champs.”  Great stuff, as always.

6. Treat Wings captain, and six-time Norris Trophy winner, Nik Lidstrom with the same respect you’d give a washed up, journeyman blueliner.

7. Allow Franzen and Holmstrom to occupy the front of your net as if they were both diaphanous and armless.

8. Never move the puck into the middle of the ice or toward the Detroit net. Instead, attempt to beat them by rimming pucks around the boards in both the defensive and attacking zones.

9. Win as few face-offs as possible as a way to set up your “checking game”.

Had you forgotten? They’re a hurtin’ in the hearta.

Mike Heika’s looking back to May and the six gamer.  He’s wondering where it all went wrong.

So what has happened since? Well, Detroit reloaded and remains one of the best teams in the NHL, and Dallas has fallen apart and is now one of the worst.

As they line up for tonight’s game at American Airlines Center – their first meeting since last spring – the playoffs seem so far away.

That’s Heika’s blog post.  He’s got an accompanying article that lists five reasons why Detroit is the Dynasty and Dallas is down the toilet.

Because the front office was on top of things in Detroit, the Red Wings were able to sign Marian Hossa for under market value at one year for $7.45 million. The Stars, meanwhile, probably overspent for Sean Avery. But let’s toss aside the economic issue and talk about picking the right player when shopping.

Meanwhile…Uncle Mike.  Good god man. He may have gone off his rocker and we’re digging it.

“We found Raf and Nick have been a pretty good pair, but as a team when everything’s not going the way you like. We think we can do better, so just change some things up,’’ Babcock said. “We played Kronwall with Nick in the past and they’ve been good, we played Stewie and Raf together, we played Kronwall and Raf together. Basically we got four and we roll them around.’‘

Legit. I didn’t make that one up.  Holy.  Tell me.  You frigging tell me that just sitting around the Babcock house for about two hours wouldn’t be a blast.  I’d bet there would be at least 72 unfinished sentences.  He’s the Beautiful Mind guy.  He’s the mumbler and the savant and the genius all mixed up and blended together. 

Of course he’s right.  Lidstrom and Rafalski…split ‘em up.  Split ‘em alllllll up.  (DLR and Van Halen reference…“Dirty Movies”)

In an interview with the Fan590 this week, Babcock said he had no intention of ever starting last the Calgary game with the much-discussed new alignments.  He said that during the Chicago game he told himself he’d try a few new combinations in practice so that the next time he wasn’t happy with the team’s play, he’d have options.

Well, he wasn’t happy to start the second and neither were you.  So our Uncle blew it up and threw some new lines out there.  Hoss and Hank.  Cleary on a couple different lines.  Fil moving around. 

Look.  Here’s the deal and here’s why Babcock is so far above the rest.  Everything.  Every move.  The shifting of the D, the different line combinations in practice, then the denials he’d use them in games, then actually using them and others…the benching of Chris Osgood in favor of Conklin, Maltby to the press box.  Everything he’s doing is to combat The Hangover. 

Yes.  He’s irritated with the way Osgood’s playing.  We all are.  But now he’s taking matters into his own hands.  The Conk is out and it’s staying out.  Even against Dallas.  As bad as Turco is against the Wings? That’s how good Osgood’s been against the Stars.  27-10-3.  You’d think tonite would be a chance for a solve all, eh?  Nope.  Stay seated young man.  Stay seated.

And it’s a head game.  Chris Osgood will regain his mediocrity and we’ll all be just happy, happy.  But for now, Babcock is pushing his buttons.  I think he wants to see if Osgood has a temper, a bad one, and how he’ll react to losing it completely.  Let’s see how a pissed-off Chris Osgood plays, when he’s allowed to play again.

Dude.  Suarez, you little cheating, Nike stalker bastard. Listen up.  19-4-4 and the coach is benching the starter, imploding the lines AND the defensive pairings?  Think about that.  Defending Cup champs with that record and Babcock’s changing…everything.

Awesome.  Do what you have to do Uncle Mike. We trust you.


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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com